Amazon Debuts Conversational AI Shopping Assistant As Ad Sales Climb

Amazon announced Rufus, a new generative AI-powered conversational shopping assistant, on Thursday -- as the company also reported its fourth-quarter 2023 earnings, revealing stunning results for its advertising business and cloud computing.

Rufus has been trained on Amazon's product catalog, customer reviews, community question and answers, as well as information from across the web.

The chatbot launched Thursday to a subset of U.S. customers in beta, with plans to add more users in the weeks ahead. 

Customers will have the ability to chat with Rufus inside Amazon’s mobile app to get help with finding products, performing product comparisons, and getting recommendations on what to buy.

The customer-facing application can answer questions related to products and services offered by Amazon merchants, whether the consumer is at the start of their shopping journey or toward the end as they prepare to check out. 



The AI chatbot began appearing for some consumers earlier this month. Customers can conduct more general product research on Amazon by asking questions like “what should I consider when buying running shoes?” or “what is the differences between trail and road running shoes?” 

The chatbot will use the information from product listings, customer reviews, and community Q&As to provide an answer.

Customers are encouraged to leave feedback by rating answers with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. They also have the option to provide what Amazon calls "freeform feedback," too.

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